Pamela Harvey is a force to be reckoned with in the design world. The owner of Pamela Harvey Interiors is based in Northern Virginia, with an office also operating in St. Petersburg, Florida, and is known for using her 20-plus years of experience with classic silhouettes, timeless pieces and touches of glamour and color to transform homes.
So when the pandemic hit, that couldn’t stop Harvey from staying on track and getting work done, even if it meant retreating to her own home office spaces to check off her to-do lists. Here, we spoke with Harvey about her work-from-home spaces, from the design details to how they keep her motivated. See highlights from our conversation below.
Walk us through a typical day at home right now and throughout the pandemic.
As a working mother I have always had to get up early to get the girls off to school in the morning, not to mention whichever animal might be staring at me to wake up. I have become a natural early riser, which I find super productive now. I think that it is even more important now working at home to establish consistent schedules. I like to catch up on all email correspondence early in the morning over coffee. Then, I set up my to-do list for the day. I like to keep short to-do lists each day, and I still write them down on paper, so with all the distractions at home I have a quick visual reference to keep me focused. I spend a little time on social media (I love to see what everyone is up to but I keep it to 10 to 15 minutes) and then at 9:30 a.m., I communicate with the team both in Virginia and Florida to review projects and keep everyone on track. I try to knock off each day at 4 or 5 p.m. and get outside for a walk with one of the kids and a dog or two.
What has the change to working from home been like for you?
It is definitely more isolating. I really miss the interaction of in-person meetings. I quickly added new built-ins to an area I was not using to be able to bring a team member in and still practice good social distancing.
If you could describe the theme or feeling of your home office space in a sentence or two, what would you say?
I actually love it. I had to up my game a little as my home office became so much more visual to my clients. The feeling I want to create is stylish, fun and up to date, yet still have it function like a hardworking office.
Where did the design inspiration for your home office space come from?
I wanted my home office space to feel warm, welcoming and memorable, with some boldness. There is a lot happening in this office each day, so I knew I needed plenty of ways to keep things organized. Lots of white for its simplicity and clean look. I love being surrounded by great art, and we hung a grid of our projects on one wall and finished the room off with a bold wallpaper.
Are there other rooms in your house, besides your office spaces, that have served as a haven for self-care right now?
Sometimes it feels impossible to get away from it all. My bedroom is my sanctuary, a place to combat the stress and negative energy. If you’re anything like me, you need a sanctuary to retreat to if you’re going to keep this crazy life going. My tips for creating a bedroom retreat include a good night’s sleep, with the best sheets you can afford (I like a crisp, cotton percale or well-washed 100% linen sheets); bedside table must-haves like lip balm, water, favorite essential oils, melatonin gummies and books; no electronics; a table lamp; a soothing color palette; and clutter should be out of sight, out of mind.
Do you have any words of wisdom for those trying to redesign their work-from-home space right now?
You should designate a space to have everything you need to have a productive day. Purge, clean out, throw out, donate whatever is out of date, including things you haven’t used in a year, and do a good, deep cleaning.
Once you have your clean, organized, clutter-free space, you can move on to the fun part. If you are on video calls, pay attention to what your audience is seeing. I recently added a fun graphic wallpaper to my back and side wall, because what everyone was seeing previously was a blank beige wall. Items for the office to add: electronics (whatever you use for work, such as computer, phone and iPad); Alexa (I love her for a quick spell check, weather or some background music); a great candle, and the scent can vary based on the weather or mood; ring lighting for video calls; a good task chair; fresh flowers or plants; and I also keep Trader Joe’s rose water spray at my desk.
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